People would take a pay cut to work for an environmentally responsible company

Focus on sustainability to attract talent to your spa. Millennials and Gen Z in particular want to work for environmentally responsible companies. 

If you want to attract talent, particularly millennial talent, focus on sustainability. People want to work for companies that care about the planet and some will even take a pay cut to do so.  

In a 2021 global survey by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), 71% of employees and job seekers said that environmentally sustainable companies are “more attractive employers.” More than two thirds of respondents also said they are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations, and nearly half would accept a lower salary to work for these companies (via the CSR Journal).

Think carefully about how to attract top talent this year and beyond

We already know that people are quitting their jobs, that this trend is expected to continue throughout 2022, and that spa and hospitality are among the hardest hit sectors by staff shortages. There is good reason for employers to think carefully about what they need to do to attract top talent this year and beyond.

Sustainability is not a trend but a powerful movement setting industry standards that is largely driven by millennials and Gen Z. Companies that fail to up their efforts risk losing top talent to greener competitors.

Workers would take a pay cut for a green employer

These findings echo similar ones from previous research. A 2019 survey of 1,000 employees at large U.S. companies found that a majority of millennials would prefer to work for an environmentally responsible company. More than 10% of respondents said they’d be willing to take a $5,000-$10,000 pay cut.

Fast Company reported that more than 70% of respondents said they were more likely to choose to work for a company with a strong environmental agenda, and that millennials were most likely to have already done so. Nearly 40% said they had chosen a job in the past because the company was more eco-conscious than a competitor. By contrast, less than a quarter of Gen X respondents and only 17% of baby boomers said the same.

Separate research conducted in 2016 reportedly found that three quarters of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where they want to work, and that nearly two thirds wouldn’t take a job if a potential employer didn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.

More findings regarding millennials and the workforce include:

  • 75% would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 55% U.S. average).
  • 88% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided with opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues (vs. 74% U.S. average).
  • 76% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work (vs. 58% U.S. average). (via

Millennials will make up three quarters of the workforce by 2025 and Gen Z will comprise 30% of the workforce by 2030.


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at

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